Posted On: April 27, 2020
Whiplash is an enigma. Many individuals don’t even believe it exists. This attitude has been fostered by insurance carriers who are often loath to pay claims for such an injury. I can’t tell you how many times I have had an individual say to me, “I can’t believe I am having this much pain from that small of an accident, I aways thought whiplash was a farce!”
Whiplash is no farce. It has disabled or partially disabled millions of individuals. People get hurt because of physics. When a car that weighs 3000 pounds hits another 3000 pound car from behind at a low enough speed, it may not damage either car, but a lot of the force gets transferred into accelerating the car at rest. The occupant of that accelerating car gets a jolt and it is this jolt that causes injury.
Approximately 50 percent of people involved in a whiplash-type accident get hurt. Of those, 50 percent recover, leaving 25 percent with chronic symptoms.
Symptoms of whiplash can include neck pain, headaches, tingling/numbness down the arm, and lower back pain just to name a few.
Treatment has to be done in phases. There is an acute phase were relative rest and anti-inflammatory measures are needed. Intermittent manual traction may be useful. Electric stimulation for pain relief if used as a short term therapy is warranted. Maintaining good posture is key in the acute phase.
The next phase of therapy is the subacute phase. This phase includes range of motion exercise, manual therapies like mobilization/manipulation, myofascial release (a form of massage used to relieve tight musculature) and light strengthening geared at postural muscles. Posture is as important in this phase as it is in the acute phase.
The final phase of therapy includes more strengthening and integrating into more functional activities (lifting tasks, work specific tasks or sport specific activities). Passive therapies can still be employed like manipulation and myofascial release but these therapies should not dominate the program. Again, posture is the key to optimum recovery.
How long does this take? I have found in my practice three to six months on average. Some people may never fully recover and be left with annoying symptoms or even a disability.
All of this from whiplash. Typically the best medical providers to see are those trained in whiplash injuries. Chiropractors and physical therapists both can take postgraduate courses in whiplash. If you are suffering from whiplash, seek the care of a provider with advanced training in this area, to help facilitate your optimum recovery.
North Shore, Dr. J and the staff were great. I started out with a pinched cervical nerve which was causing extreme pain and numbness in my arm. Surgery had been ruled out by the neurosurgeon after an MRI. My physical recommended a regimen of physical therapy which I undertook with NorthShore in November. At that time I had consistent pain in the range of 8-9 out of 10. I had trouble sleeping, driving and performing most normal daily activities due to the constant pain. I have now been through two series of physical therapy sessions with North Shore over a couple of months and the pain and numbness are completely gone. Based on my experience I would highly recommend North Shore for physical therapy treatment and the staff is extremely friendly and helpful as a bonus! Jon HeintzelmanJonathan Heintzelman
All aspects of the rehab program were done with professionalism. Intake evaluation, exercise program, massage therapy and exit evaluation were all excellent and yielded excellent results for me. All of the staff are friendly and efficient. Dr. Johnson, Jeannette, Cyprian and Mary are friendly and make an otherwise difficult experience much more tolerable. I have gone to them on two occasions over the last several years for different injuries and, in both instances, my problems were resolved. I highly recommend them.Lee Eddy
I was a patient 6 years ago, with lower back pain and herniation. My PT was excellent and I was back to exercise and resolution of pain and herniation. Recently I have had hip pain and and tingling down my leg. My evaluation with DR Johnson was very thorough and spot on. The PT with Dre was incredible. I am now pain free with a resolution of the tingling as well. I will definitely return for any future problems that may arise!Barbara Bank